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Dismissed workers protest

Friday, February 17 2017

THE managers of Valpark Shopping Plaza (VPS) stand accused of violating every tenet of good industrial relations in their dismissal of all nine janitorial staff, following the workers’ efforts to become unionised.

This was the position of president of the Transport Industrial Workers Union (TIWU) Roland Sutherland during a protest on Wednesday by the affected workers.

“In our view, when the company got wind that we were organising the workers (to become unionised), they retrenched all of them. They served notices to the workers on January 31, telling them the company was restructuring and a decision was taken to outsource the entire janitorial function.

All nine workers were retrenched effective March 17, 2017,” Sutherland said.

Sutherland said, “this is an attack on the law of the land. Therefore we could not sit down idly and allow any company or big corporation to violate the laws of TT.” TIWU intends to intensify its protest action to ensure other unions and Government are aware of this attempt at blatant violation of the Industrial Relations Act, he said.

Newsday obtained a copy of the notice of retrenchment letter, which stated that during the course of 2016, “the Board of Directors (The Board) of Second Plaza Limited had been reviewing its competitiveness, future viability and overall organisational structure.

As a result, a decision has been taken to outsource the entire janitorial function.” Efforts by this newspaper to reach management officials of VPS proved futile as calls to the office numbers went unanswered.



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